“This do in remembrance of me.”—1 Cor. 11:24.
There could be no need for this loving exhortation, if there were not a fearful supposition that our memories might prove treacherous, and our remembrance superficial in its character, or changing in its nature.
Can it be possible? Yes it is not only possible, but conscience confesses that it is too sadly a fault of all of us, that we can remember anything except Christ. It is the incessant round of world, world, world; the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes away the soul from Christ. While memory will preserve a poisoned weed, it suffereth the Rose of Sharon to wither.
We forget him because we carry about with us the old Adam of sin and death. But there is one whom they should embalm in their souls with the most costly spices—one who, above all other gifts of God, deserves to be had in perpetual remembrance. One I said, for I mean not an act, I mean not a deed; but it is a Person whose portrait I would frame in gold, and hang up in the state-room of the soul. It is Christ’s glorious person which ought to be the object of our remembrance.
How can we remember Christ’s person, when we never saw it? Though you do not know him after the flesh, you may know him after the spirit; in this manner you can remember Jesus as much now as Peter, or Paul, or John, or James, or any of those favoured ones who once trod in his footsteps, walked side by side with him, or laid their heads upon his bosom. Memory annihilates distance and over leapeth time, and can behold the Lord, though he be exalted in glory.
Remember him in his baptism…remember him in the wilderness…Further, I beseech you remember him in all his daily temptations and hourly trials, in that life-long struggle of his, through which he passed.
The benefits to be derived from a loving remembrance of Christ:
The Christian needs no argument to make him love Christ; just as a mother needs no argument to make her love her child. She does it because it is her nature to do so. The new-born creature must love Christ it cannot help it. Remembrance of Jesus will tend to give you hope when you are under the burden of your sins. Yes, I will tell thee drunkard, swearer, whatever thou hast been—I will tell thee that there is one, who for thee hath made a complete atonement; if thou only believest on him thou art safe for ever.
‘Now, for the love I bear his name,
What was my gain I count my loss,
I pour contempt on all my shame,
And nail my glory to his cross.’ ”
It tends to give us patience under persecution…It will give strength in temptation…But just to close up the advantages of remembering Christ, do you know where you will have the benefit most of all? Some one stands there weeping. Children are around the bed, and friends are there. See that man lying? That is yourself. What is it? Ah! one sigh! The soul is gone. The body is there. What did he see? He saw a flaming throne of judgment; he saw God upon it, with his sceptre; he saw books opened; he beheld the throne of God, and saw a messenger, with a sword brandished in the air to smite him low. But if thou canst remember Christ, shall I tell thee what thou wilt do? Oh! thou wilt smile in the midst of trouble. Let me picture such a man. They put pillows behind him; he sits up in bed, and takes the hand of the loved one, and says, “Farewell! weep not for me; the kind God shall wipe away all tears from every eye.”
A sweet aid to memory:
Our Saviour was wiser than all our teachers, and his remembrancers are true and real aids to memory. His love tokens have an unmistakeable language, and they sweetly win our attention. Behold the whole mystery of the sacred Eucharist. It is bread and wine which are lively emblems of the body and blood of Jesus. The power to excite remembrance consists in the appeal thus made to the senses. He must have no memory at all who cannot remember that he has eaten bread, and that he has been drinking wine. Note again, the mighty pregnancy of these signs—how full they are of meaning. Bread broken—so was your Saviour broken. Bread to be eaten—so his flesh is meat indeed. Wine poured out, the pressed juice of the grape—so was your Saviour crushed under the foot of divine justice: his blood is your sweetest wine. Wine to cheer your heart—so does the blood of Jesus. Wine to strengthen and invigorate you—so does the blood of the mighty sacrifice. Oh! make that bread and wine to your souls to-night a sweet and blessed help of remembrance of that dear Man who once on Calvary died.
I fear greatly that there are some of you who will eat the bread to-night, and will not think about Christ; some of you who will drink the wine, and not think of his blood: and vile hypocrites you will be while you do it. Take heed to yourselves, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh—what?—“damnation to himself. If you cannot do it in remembrance of Christ, I beseech you, as you love your souls, do not do it at all.
A sweet command:
“This do in remembrance of me.” Christ watches you at the door. Some of you go home, and Christ says, “I thought I said, ‘This do ye in remembrance of me. If I had loved you no more than this, you would have been in hell: if that were the full extent of my affection, I should not have died for you. Great love bore great agonies; and is this all your gratitude to me?”
Remember thee, and all thy pains,
And all thy love to me—
Yes, while a pulse or breath remains,
I will remember thee.
And when these failing lips grow dumb,
And thought and memory flee;
When thou shalt in thy kingdom come,
Jesus, remember me!”